18.5 to 24.9
25.0 to 29.9
30.0 and above
Calculating Body Fat Percentage
A skinfold test may also be done to check your body fat percentage. In this test, a doctor measures the thickness of a fold of skin from the arm, abdomen, or thigh with a caliper.
Your healthcare provider may also ask questions about your lifestyle to find out more about your eating and exercise habits. Your doctor may order additional blood tests to look for hormonal or other medical problems that could be causing your weight gain.
Diet & Exercise
The most effective way to lose weight is to adopt healthy eating habits, exercise routines, and stress management techniques. Regular exercise and healthy eating are important, and even modest weight loss will improve your health. It is also important to learn stress management tools that can be used in place of overeating or snacking during stressful times.
You should work with your doctor and a dietician to set realistic goals that will help you lose weight slowly through diet and exercise. It may be helpful to find support from friends, family, or your community in order to make lifestyle changes that will lead to long-term weight loss.
Weight Loss Drugs
Sometimes, weight loss drugs may be prescribed. While these medications may cause weight loss, most people regain the weight once they stop taking the medication. There are many herbal and over-the-counter supplements that claim to help you lose weight, but many of these claims have not been verified.
Surgery may also be an option to treat obesity if you have tried other methods for losing weight but have not been successful in maintaining long-term weight loss. It can often help reduce the risk of other diseases (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea) that are associated with severe obesity.
Surgery may cause complications, and you should talk with your doctor to determine if this is an option for you. There are two common types of weight-loss (bariatric) surgeries:
Laparoscopic gastric bypass: In this procedure, the surgeon will place a band around the upper part of your stomach. This limits the amount of food you can eat at one time by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food.
Gastric bypass surgery: This surgery will change how the food you eat travels through your digestive tract by bypassing a portion of your stomach and small bowel. It will make you feel full when you’ve eaten less food.
Obesity and morbid obesity are serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. A healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise are important for preventing obesity.
Diet and Exercise
People who are morbidly obese should avoid “fad” diets and focus instead on changing eating behaviors. Recommendations include:
- adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet
- eating smaller meals
- count calories
- avoid saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugars
Physical activity is good for overall health and is especially important if you’re trying to lose weight. To begin losing weight, you will need to do moderate to vigorous exercise for more than three hours per week. Vigorous activity raises your heart rate significantly. Examples include:
- running or jogging
- jumping rope
Moderate exercises include brisk walking or biking, and can also include everyday activities like shoveling snow or yard work (CDC).
Medically Reviewed by:
Published: Aug 15, 2012
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.